The Queue: Anna Metcalfe

The Queue: Anna Metcalfe

Discover what individuals from our craft community are into right now.

Published on Sunday, May 17, 2020.
Anna Metcalfe Pop Up Picnic

↑ Ceramist Anna Metcalfe's Pop Up Picnic project highlights the story of bees and their critical relationship to food.


The Queue: Kitchen Table Series

A weekly roundup for and by the craft community, the Kitchen Table series of The Queue introducing you to the makers, writers, curators, and more featured in the most recent issue of American Craft. We invite them to share their shortlist of exciting projects, people to follow, and content to consume to help you stay dialed into what's hot in the world of making.

Anna Metcalfe on craft and food, current research, and more

Minneapolis-based ceramist Anna Metcalfe contributed a Kitchen Heirloom Object Story on baking to the June/July 2020 issue of American Craft. She's also an artist of the Socially Engaged Craft Collective, one of our program partners for our current American Craft Forum series on craft thinking. @annavmetcalfe

The Queue Anna Metcalfe Photo by Sam Gehrke

Photo: Sam Gehrke

How would you describe your work or practice in 50 words or less?
My practice is the confluence of where clay meets community engagement, adventures in the kitchen, and a deep regard for water, land, and agriculture. The work that arises from this juncture is taking the form of public picnics to honor pollinators or tea ceremonies that collect and distribute stories about water within a community.

How are you staying healthy and finding balance during the COVID-19 breakout, both personally and professionally?
I’m taking a cue from the world and I’m pausing. My teaching job still demands that I engage, but I’m finding that this moment is both painful and beautiful. It demands more of my emotional attention. So, I’m working on forgiving myself for what would seem like a lack of productivity.

Anna Metcalfe Kitchen Heirloom Bread Starter

↑ Anna's object story for the Kitchen Table issue of American Craft explores baking as a grounding ritual and yeast starters as communal organisms.

What are your thoughts on the relationship between craft and food?
I can’t remember which brought me to the other - I love them both in the same way I like butter and bread and butter on bread. They are so intertwined that I find myself wondering if they are different names for the same thing: making something that brings nourishment to our daily lives.

What’s an exhibition or art project you think the world should know about?
I think everyone needs to see “Hearts of Our People,” an exhibition that is curated by and consists of all Native women artists. It is an extraordinary and brave invitation to suspend notions of hierarchies and be immersed in a world that is simultaneously ancient and also our future.

Christi Belcourt Wisdom of the Universe

↑ Featured in “Hearts of Our People:” Christi Belcourt (Michif), The Wisdom of the Universe, 2014, acrylic on canvas, Collection Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014, 2014/6.
© Christi Belcourt

Curated by Jill Ahlberg Yohe and Teri Greeves, "Hearts of Our People" was exhibited at Minneapolis Institure of Art before making its way to Frist Art Museum and the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. The exhibition will be presented at its final destination, Philbrook Museum of Art, later this year.

What research or writing are you doing, or seeing others do, that you find compelling?
Along with a colleague in Socio-cultural Anthropology, I am currently investigating the role that craft can play in collecting qualitative data for the purposes of researching societal reactions to climate change. More generally, I am learning a lot about how to turn suspicions about my work into actual data.

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